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Currency-related price hike could boost non-US server sales

Shift to recoup Forex losses means the likes of Cisco, Dell, HP and IBM are less attractive price-wise than Asian rivals

The latest Europe, Middle East and Africa quarterly server tracker from analyst firm IDC shows 2.6 million server units were shipped in 2015, with a total value of $13.2bn.

This represents a 3% year-on-year increase in revenues for the server companies. There was also a slight increase – of 0.1% – in the number of servers shipped. IDC attributed the growth to two main factors: the weakening dollar and growing interest in high-performance computing (HPC).

The devalued dollar forced up the average selling price (ASP) of servers in local currency over the course of 2015. If US-based server manufacturers continue to increase local currency prices, IDC said the market might start to see more interest in Asian suppliers.

The analyst also noted that there had been continued movement towards more sophisticated configurations to support compute-intensive workloads for big data and internet of things (IoT) applications.

BMW Group, for instance, has just selected the high-security datacentre Fortlax to host a high-performance computing cluster.

“A large share of this revenue growth has been generated by the construction of hyperscale datacentres by several global cloud service providers,” said Andreas Olah, senior research analyst, European infrastructure, at IDC. “In addition, the growing hunger for more powerful, mission-critical machines with large memory pools has fuelled further ASP increases, especially on the blade side.”

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In February 2016, analyst Gartner noted that server sales had been boosted globally by the likes of Facebook, Google and Microsoft building hyper-scale datacentres.

According to Eckhardt Fischer, research analyst, European infrastructure, at IDC, x86 server sales in western Europe in the first quarter of 2016 grew by 6% compared with the same quarter last year, due, in part, to organisations purchasing larger computer systems.

This led manufacturers to post a 39.1% increase in server revenue for their larger systems. Growing adoption of big data and IoT have led to customers requiring high-availability systems, which generally require larger, costlier servers, Fischer added.

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